Tense finish on the cards at Durham
A thrilling finale is in prospect at the Emirates Durham ICG following another dramatic day that saw 18 wickets fall in the LV= County Championship meeting between winless Durham and Middlesex.
After advancing to 185 all out and a lead of 83 this morning, Middlesex saw their hosts reach 200 in their second innings, thanks largely to lower-order resistance from Scott Borthwick, their top-scorer with 41 not out, and Callum Thorp, who blasted 36 from 24 balls.
Steven Finn finished with 4-80 for Chris Rogers’ men, who then crumbled in stunning fashion chasing a modest target of 118.
Openers Sam Robson and Rogers departed before a run had been scored and Middlesex lost a further three wickets before reaching stumps on 58 for five, with John Simpson and Toby Roland-Jones unbeaten on 10 and 15. Chris Rushworth was the chief architect of their troubles with 3-22.
Victory would represent a significant fillip for Durham, who entered this latest round of fixtures rooted to the foot of the Division One table and with time running out to retain their top-flight status.
Surrey produced a sturdy response with the bat against Warwickshire at Edgbaston after Jim Troughton and Chris Woakes had each registered centuries for the second game in succession.
Skipper Troughton progressed to 119, all-rounder Woakes finished not out on 118 and Jeetan Patel added a boundary-laden 76 from number 10 as the Division One leaders, 322 for six overnight, posted 571 all out.
Woakes then trapped Zafar Ansari lbw for 10, but Rory Burns, dropped first ball by wicketkeeper Richard Johnson off Keith Barker, and Arun Harinath shared an unbroken stand of 83 in 26 overs to provide the visitors with a welcome lift.
Surrey trailed by 462 at stumps on 109 for one, Burns and Harinath having contributed 53 and 44 respectively.
Michael Lumb thumped 171 and James Taylor compiled a first four-day hundred for Nottinghamshire to leave Sussex with a mountain to climb at Trent Bridge.
Lumb cracked 27 fours and two sixes, having been dropped by Murray Goodwin before adding to his overnight 28 this morning, while Taylor compiled 106 not out to lift Notts - Warwickshire’s nearest rivals at the top of the table - to 443 for four and a lead of 272.
Sussex, dismissed for a paltry 171 on a blameless pitch yesterday, could only muster three wickets all day as runs flowed freely.
Centuries from opening batsmen Sam Northeast and Rob Key put Kent in a strong position until Hampshire, second in Division Two, fought back late on at the Ageas Bowl.
Once Mark Davies’ third wicket had ended the hosts’ first innings with the second ball of the day without addition to their overnight 292, Northeast and Key put on 252 in 76 overs.
Sean Ervine had Northeast caught behind for 140, which began a slide of five wickets for 39 runs. The last saw Key fall for 119 in the same manner to become James Tomlinson’s third victim, prompting stumps with the visitors a run behind.
Hundreds for Adam Lyth and and Jonny Bairstow, the former’s unbeaten, put third-placed Yorkshire in control of Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The hosts could add only two to yesterday’s 318 for nine with Matthew Boyce going for 107, but Nathan Buck soon bowled Joe Root without scoring. Opener Lyth and Phil Jaques added 68 before the latter was Buck’s second scalp, and captain Andrew Gale soon followed to leave the White Rose 112 for three.
However, Lyth and Bairstow shared a 197-run stand until Buck, who took 3-58 from 20 overs, snared the latter for 118. Gary Ballance went cheaply, but Lyth closed with 159 of 336 for five.